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Competition: Forum 2, Southend

The Forum by ADP
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Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is recruiting a design team for a major new £17.3 million arts and cultural venue

The architect-led design team chosen for the estimated £1.1 million contract will create a flagship new addition to the Essex city’s Forum complex in Elmer Square which was completed by ADP five years ago.

The Forum 2 project is supported by South Essex College, and will create a new home for the Focal Point Gallery while enhancing public realm and providing new facilities which help increase student numbers, including teaching areas and workspaces for business start-ups.

ADP has already completed a feasibility study for the development, which will be located next to the existing Forum.

In its brief, the council says it is seeking ‘an experienced and appropriately qualified architect-led design team with outstanding design and detailing skills to take forward the development of a new building to house additional gallery space and accommodation for the Focal Point Gallery, located in the Forum, together with a new small digital workspace incubator hub and office accommodation.

‘The college wishes to provide new -state-of-the art performing arts and music practice facilities together with a new public café and restaurant, and a new skills kitchen for students. Forum Phase 2 will capitalise upon the success of the existing Forum facility and complete the transformation of Elmer Square into an attractive and innovative learning quarter within the heart of the town centre, which can be enjoyed by students and the wider community alike.’

Southend-on-Sea is a historic seaside resort town on the northern bank of the Thames Estuary, with a population of around 179,000.

ADP completed its competition-winning design for Southend’s £27 million Forum complex – jointly funded by the council South Essex College and the University of Essex – in 2013. Built on the site of a former car park, the building provides a base for the Focal Point Gallery along with a theatre, a café and a new urban square.

The team selected for Forum 2 will develop the scheme from RIBA Stage 2 through to RIBA Stage 7.

The competition comes six months after Hawkins\Brown won a publicly tendered contract to deliver Southend’s  £40 million seafront museum, now known as the Thames Estuary Museum. In September last year, ADP also won a separate competition to design a landmark £6.3 million pavilion on Southend Pier.

The deadline for applications is 2pm on 27 April. 

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Corporate Procurement
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
Civic Centre
Southend-on-Sea
SS2 6ER

Tel: +44 1702215000
Email: procurementadvisors@southend.gov.uk 

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